How To Clean The Bottom Of The Toilet Bowl

Are you struggling to clean the bottom of your toilet? Grimy toilet bowls with brown stains are pretty off-putting and very unsightly too. If you have tried bleach but the stains remain, know that it’s not your cleaning that is at fault! The stains are very probably due to the type of water coming into the house and the state of the pipes.

To clean the bottom of your toilet start with something simple like vinegar or bleach. If the stains linger then you have a tougher job on your hands. A simple can of cola might work for you or a couple of denture tablets tossed into the water. If the stains remain, drain out the water and add some cleaning chemicals such as vinegar combined with baking soda, leave to work and then scrub with a pumice stone.

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How to clean the bottom of the toilet bowl

There are several methods for cleaning the bottom or the underside of the toilet bowl and they will depend on what is causing the stains. If you want to get your toilet cleaned without scrubbing go for something like a Harpic Power Plus Tablet. If the stain is purely organic (poo) then simple bleach will work a treat.

Method 1 – Bleach

Bleach is my go-to toilet cleaner. I prefer to keep cleaning chemicals to a minimum but bleach is the only one that I haven’t been able to get rid of because it is so effective. Plus, there is usually no scrubbing necessary.

We’ll talk later about what else the stain in the bottom of the toilet could be. But, I find it is always best to start with bleach. If that doesn’t solve the issue then you have a little more work on your hands.

How to clean the bottom of the toilet bowl with bleach:

  1. Swill some bleach around the rim of the toilet, enough that some of it will pool down into the bowl.
  2. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then flush.

No scrubbing is needed. Job done!

cleaning the toilet bowl with bleach

Method 2 – Vinegar

If you prefer a no-chemical clean then vinegar is your answer.

How to use vinegar to clean the bottom of your toilet:

  1. Pour a couple of cups of distilled white vinegar into the toilet bowl.
  2. Make up a spray bottle of vinegar and spray it all around the bowl.
  3. Leave it to work for several hours or overnight.
  4. Flush and wipe around the bowl.

One of the reasons I choose bleach over vinegar for regular cleaning is not only because of the effectiveness but also because of the time-saving element. There are too many people in our house to be able to leave the vinegar to sit in the toilet overnight. Far too many crossed legs would be involved! So this option isn’t for me but if it works for you, go for it.

Method 3 – Vinegar and baking soda

If you are finding that vinegar isn’t working well enough to keep the toilet bowl clean add some baking soda. When these two chemicals come together you get a fizzing action going which somehow shifts dirt all the better.

To be honest I don’t understand how it works but it does. I always use vinegar and baking soda together to unblock the drain in the bathroom sink. Since we switched to solid soap to reduce plastic there seems to be more of an issue with soap scum build-up but it is easily solved with just vinegar and baking soda.

Here’s how to clean your toilet bowl with vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Pour some distilled white vinegar into the toilet bowl.
  2. Make up a spray bottle of vinegar and spray it all around the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle in some baking soda. I have found that soda crystals work just as well if you don’t have baking soda.
  4. A fizzing action will occur. While this is happening give the bowl and the bottom of the toilet a good scrub with a pumice stone.
  5. Flush and wipe around the bowl.

Method 4 – Harpic

I find that plain supermarket bleach works superbly for keeping the bottom of the toilet clean. But if your toilet is particularly grimy you might need to go for something stronger. If that’s you, Harpic is your answer.

A lot of folks have said that Harpic Power Plus Tablets work a treat at cleaning the bottom of the toilet. If you have limescale, it works great on that too.

Harpic Power Plus Tablets 8 Pack

If you still have stains in your toilet bowl that just won’t shift even after trying the above then you have a different problem, read on to find out how to remove the brown stains.

Related reading:

What are the brown stains on the bottom of the toilet bowl?

The problem with shifting the brown stains from the bottom of your toilet bowl is that it can be caused by several different things and that is why you find so much conflicting advice about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to removing it.

However, one thing is true. If you live in a hard water area then this problem can be much worse than for those that have softer water.

When you see a brown stain in a toilet bowl your first thought is very probably going to be, yuck.

Let’s look at what it isn’t first!

No, it isn’t poo deposits! There I said it. Poo marks can be removed pretty easily with vinegar or bleach and perhaps a bit of scrubbing too if it’s a bit stubborn. If you still have brown marks after a thorough clean then the issue definitely isn’t poo.

So what could those brown marks be?

Mineral deposits

If you live in a hard water area there will be a greater amount of minerals in your water supply which can include calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron.

Over time these minerals can build up in your toilet to cause a brown stain. The presence of manganese in your water can produce a deep brown stain in the bowl and around the rim where the jets push out the flushing water.

Rust deposits

A greater number of minerals in your water can react with metal pipes to produce rust. This is another cause of brown stains on the bottom of your toilet. Rust particles will collect over time under the waterline. and can even etch themselves into the porcelain.

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How to remove brown stains on the bottom of the toilet bowl

If you have figured that the brown stains are due to the type of water you have then they won’t go away with something like bleach or even vinegar.

What works for you will depend on what has caused the brown stain in the first place and this is why when you read solutions around the internet that some work and some don’t.

Let’s have a look at the options:

Coca-Cola

Some say this solution is a miracle some say it doesn’t work at all. Either way, it is worth a try if you have a can to hand. Since no one really knows the ingredients in Coca Cola it’s difficult to know how this can be effective.

  1. Take a can of cola
  2. Pour it around the rim and into the bowl.
  3. Allow to sit for several hours or overnight.

Vinegar and baking soda

This method works best if you take the water out of the bottom of the toilet first otherwise the cleaning chemicals will be diluted in the toilet water.

Here’s how to remove the water in the bottom of the toilet:

  1. Turn off the water flow into the toilet. The method of doing this will vary depending on the plumbing of your toilet.
  2. Flush the toilet.
  3. Put on some rubber gloves and remove the rest of the water with an absorbent cloth, sponge or some paper towels.

How to clean the bottom of the toilet bowl with vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Remove the water from the bowl as per the above directions.
  2. Pour two cups of distilled white vinegar into the bowl.
  3. Follow with two cups of baking soda or washing soda crystals.
  4. Add another two cups of vinegar.
  5. Allow the chemicals to fizz.
  6. Leave to work for 30 minutes.
  7. If necessary scrub the brown stains away with a pumice stone.

Why a pumice stone?

Pumice is hard enough to remove the stains but not hard enough to damage the porcelain.

Harpic

Some people have said that Harpic works brilliantly to clean the bottom of the toilet.

Harpic Power Plus Tablets 8 Pack
  1. Add a Harpic Power Plus tablet to the toilet water.
  2. Let it sit in the bottom of the toilet for several hours or overnight and then flush.

Denture tablets

Who would have thought it, but denture tablets are said to work brilliantly to clean the bottom of the toilet!

  1. Pour a bucket of hot tap water (not boiling) into the bowl (this helps the tablet to dissolve better).
  2. Add one or two denture tablets to the bowl.
  3. Let it sit for several hours before flushing.

How to remove limescale from the bottom of the toilet bowl

If you are seeing limescale build-up on the bottom of your toilet it is well worth removing it as soon as you can otherwise it becomes more difficult to remove and you might start to see it turning brown over time.

Before treating limescale you will want to remove the water from the bottom of the bowl otherwise the limescale will be diluted too much in the toilet water.

  1. Turn off the water flow into the toilet. The method of doing this will vary depending on the plumbing of your toilet.
  2. Flush the toilet.
  3. Put on some rubber gloves and remove the rest of the water with an absorbent cloth or some paper towels.
  4. Pour in some distilled white vinegar.
  5. Leave the vinegar to sit for several hours.
  6. Flush the toilet and scrub to remove the stubborn deposits.

Harpic Power Plus Tablets also work really well for cleaning limescale out of the bottom of the toilet. Simply toss a tablet into the bowl and leave it to work without the need to scrub.

How to remove rust from the bottom of the toilet bowl

You will find rust particles build up on the bottom of the toilet over time if you have hard water and it has made the pipes rusty.

The best way to remove rust is to drain the water from the bowl and then pour in some vinegar followed by baking soda. Coca-cola is also said to work on rust stains as are denture tablets.

This article and its contents are owned by sparklingpenny.com and was first published on 29 October 2021.
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Penny | SparklingPenny

Hi, I'm Penny. A busy mum of two boys, with the aim to enjoy life to the full.